Saturday 25 February 2012

Simon Calder gets caught with car rental rip off

Simon Calder the Independent's Travel expert has recently been involved in a car rental rip off in the USA.

According to his article in the 25th February 2012 edition of "Independent Traveller" he recently visited California. His moto is never to upgrade a US hire car and always order and go for the basic model.

This time he arranged the rental via Holiday Autos and when he went to collect it, was offered a "Thanksgiving weekend upgrade special". He declined it and was then asked to initial the rental contract in the places he was asked to do. He had just had a 12 hour flight and like any traveller tired.

He discovered when his credit card bill came in and additional £26 had been added for the upgrade!  He took up the issue with Holiday Autos customer services who did a an efficient job looking into it and they got hold of a copy of the rental contract. This showed he had initialled for a better car.

This type of action by car hire receptionists, of getting customers to sign here, there and there is so similar to when my wife rented a car in Dublin via Irish Car Rentals the Europcar Ireland franchise operator. She declined their excess insurance as she had her own, however was told sign here, there and everywhere and when questioned later, although she has said she did not want it, but they said you signed for it so we are not refunding the money.

Do take great care and if you are tired, why not write on the contract "don't want upgrade" or "your excess insurance" even if it is one of those screen signature boxes that a lot of car hire companies are now using.

To see Simon Calder's article on line at The Independent, follow this link.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Looks like Irish car rental companies are still mis-selling car hire excess insurance

I have just come accross this article on the Auto Exress web site "Watchdog: Mis-selling car hire cover" by Mike Gibbs on the 22nd February 2012.

Reading the report it looks like the same old story is cropping up again. According to his article - "Conor Mills from east London pre-booked a car to be picked up at Knock Airport, Ireland, through online broker CarHire3000. The best deal was through Budget.Conor Mills from east London pre-booked a car to be picked up at Knock Airport, Ireland, through online broker CarHire3000. The best deal was through Budget.The car was fully insured, but Conor paid CarHire3000 an extra £26 for an excess waiver, to avoid having to shell out the 1,200 Euro excess if he damaged the car. But the lady at the Budget desk at Knock Airport told him CarHire3000’s excess waiver policy had loopholes big enough to drive a car through. “She said the insurance did not cover any accidents deemed my fault, or repair time,” Conor told us.So he forked out another 45 Euros (£37) for Budget’s own excess waiver. This was totally unnecessary". See full story here

From personal experiences over the years and other peoples experiences, I have written about these continual problems on this blog and with articles on the insurance4carrental.com site How Irish car hire companies are not improving Irish Tourism, Car hire company in Ireland charges for unwanted excess insurance, Irish car hire companies are taking visitors for a ride  and then in November 2011 iCarhireinsurance published Dubious Dublin airport car rental staff

It is such a shame that these companies continue to do this to tourists, business people and even their own nationals returning to the home country for a few days. It is not a good advertisement for Irish Tourism and this is happening at entry points to the country. 

On a positive note however, on the last three occasions my wife or I have rented a car in Dublin we have used Hertz. We have told them we have our own excess insurance, we are then told that they will deduct several hundred euro from the credit card till the car is returned, but there is no pressure to take their own products, which probably like in the story in Auto Express is exactly the same coverage and in reality, they have the right to deduct the amount from the credit card, but don't actually debit the account, unless it is required.

Irish car rental companies you are giving Ireland a bad name. It is about time that you thought more about returning customers than making a fast buck from the one standing in front of you.

Friday 17 February 2012

Car hire shortages in Spain in the summer of 2012?

Economy car hire issued a news release yesterday.

They said that one of the largest independent car hire companies in Spain has recently announced that they will cease trading causing a shortage of vehicles this summer.

AurigaCrown have been operating under administration for around two years, however, due to increasing costs and lower revenue, it has been decided that they will cease trading. As a result the availability of hire cars across mainland Spain will plummet. The loss of 15,000 vehicles in the market will cause prices to rise significantly in the coming months according to Economy Car Hire, one of the UK’s leading car hire brokers.
In both 2009 and 2010 there were availability issues due to the economic situation in Spain, making it difficult for car hire companies to raise finance in order to equip their fleets. 2012 is in danger of being even worse due to the fall in the number of cars.

Economy Car Hire warns customers that they must book early if they want to secure a hire car this summer. The costs of car hire will also rise, meaning that customers may end up paying more than double if they leave booking until the last minute, if there are any vehicles left at all.

“It is clear that the recent raft of exceptionally low prices has taken its toll on the car hire companies of Spain” says Rory Sexton, Managing Director of Economy Car Hire. “There is no doubt that following the failing of one company, the rest will increase their prices. The message is clear, book in advance.”

If you have already booked your holiday for the summer, Economy Car Hire advises that you book your hire car now. This way, you can choose the most suitable vehicle for your stay and not be left with something hugely inappropriate, or worse still, nothing at all.

It is not yet known exactly when AurigaCrown will cease trading, however, as a precaution Economy Car Hire have already moved affected bookings to an alternative provider. Customers who have a car hire booking with AurigaCrown made through another broker or agent are advised to make alternative arrangements.

Economy Car Hire provides car hire services in over 26 countries worldwide, including the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey, Jamaica and Australia.

Source: Economy car hire

If you are going on holiday this year to Spain book that car hire now. Remember back in 2009 there were a lot of shortages It can be rather frustrating leaving the car hire booking to the last minute and then finding you cannot get a car or the price has gone sky high.

Notes: The AurigaCrown website was still working OK today (17th February 2012). According to their website "AurigaCrown Car Hire was founded in the begining of 2006 with the merger of two leading companies in the rent a car sector in Spain Crown Car Hire and Auriga Rent a Car, what converted this new company into the leader of the rent a car sector.With over 40 years experience in the rent a car sector and a fleet of over 18.000 vehicles, none exceeding an average age of 6 months, a network of 30 offices distributed all over Spain, and our staff of 350 multilingual and qualified professionals, our aim is transparency and reliability in order to improve a better service for our clients day by day."

Find out more about Economy Car Hire Here

Tuesday 14 February 2012

The ‘Winterisation’ Charge for your Hire Car

I visited the icahireinsurance blog a short while ago and found a very interesting piece written by Ernie about going skiing. 

No it was not warning you to take great care when you are on or off the slopes, but before you actually got to the ski resort.

The blog went on to say " If you are taking advantage of the near-perfect skiing conditions in Europe, be aware that if you are hiring a car you will probably come up against a 'winterisation' charge (or ...another opportunity to fleece you out of your hard-earned cash).

Despite hire companies knowing that winter comes each year this is an opportunity for them to levy an additional charge for the winter tyres and snow chains that your hire car will need by law in many European countries.

Many people are surprised when they arrive at the car rental desk to pick up their car to be told that they have to pay an additional fee for the hire car's anti-freeze, tyres and chains so if you're not sure check your booking T&Cs. The charge is usually about 5 euros a day.One way you can save money is to make sure you buy your car hire excess insurance in advance and save up to 70% when compared with buying it at the car rental desk. Excess Europe retails for £39.99 for an annual policy or £2.99/day for Single Trips."

Find out more about icarhire insurance Here

At the insurance4carrental.com site we have a list of Driving Guides for numerous countries. Information has been compiled from our partners in the travel, car hire and insurance business and whenever we have the winter tryre in snow image, information on regulation is provided.  For example in Bulgaria "Snow chains should be carried in the car in the winter from 1st November to 31st March. The road signs will indicate when snow chains are compulsory or not. The use of snow tyres is not legally required"  Find out more about the driving guides Here 

In the meantime if you are renting a car in a country like England, that hopefully has just had it's snow fall for the winter, remember driving conditions can still be icy and if you are not used to a car because it is not your own personal one, but a "hire car" take even more care. 

Monday 13 February 2012

Cold half term holidays are here so don't forget your car hire excess insurance and van hire excess insurance

Half term holidays have started and temperatures across a lot of Europe are still very, very cold. The ground was frozen on Saturday night for the Ireland - France Six Nations Rugby in Paris and the pitch in sunny Rome earlier in the day for the Italy - England match had a lot of snow on it.

It is vitally important if you are hiring a car or van this week you have proper insurance. Many people have gone away and hoped that there would not be delays like ther had been on Sunday 5th February when so many people waited over 2 hours or more to clear security at London Stanstead Airport and then find once they had  missed their flight as it went without them.  

Others might be off to IKEA or similar establishments buying a new kitchen or range of living room furniture and renting a van.

Meanwhile, have received a flyer over the weekend from Holiday Autos saying "Bring on winter". I think winter has been brought on, but they appear to have soome good car hire offers for those wanting to hire a car when the go on a skiing holiday.

Personally as we hit mid  February, I would would rather look forward to a "Bring on spring" campaign.

Have a good half term break and don't forget your car hire excess insurance and your van hire excess insurance. Many of the policies offered by these insurance companies cover lost keys, damage to undercarriage of car and damage to wheels. Find out more from those advertising on on the insurance4carrental.com advertising site.

Friday 10 February 2012

Flash Sale discounts at Holiday Autos

Holiday Autos today announced that If you’re one of the lucky ones planning a holiday before the end of March, make sure you’re quick off the mark to save money on your car hire in the Holiday Autos’ Flash Sale. - "10% off car hire in selected locations in the Holiday Autos’ Flash Sale"

Between 13th – 19th February 2012, (that is this coming Monday and the following Sunday) Holiday Autos is offering 10% off car hire in South Africa, UAE, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The promotion is valid for pick-ups until 31 March.

In order to redeem this offer, simply use the promotion code FLASH10 when prompted during the booking process. A minimum 3 day rental applies.

Go to the Holiday Autos website Here and book a holiday to somewhere hot now. They have included the UK in this promotion and it is currently minus 4 degrees in the High Wycombe, Bucks area however as this offer is valid for pick-ups until 31st March we could have a heat wave by then. Remember the Easter of 2011?

According to Holiday Autos media department - "The FLASH10 promotional code will apply a 10% discount off the car rental cost off car hire bookings made in United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, UAE, Cyprus and South Africa until 19 Feb 2012 for rentals until 31 March 2012. Minimum 3 day rental applies. This code must be entered and applied in section 6 of the booking details page in order to redeem the discount.

Please note that this code may not be valid for selected car types and you will be informed on section 6 of the booking page, once you have applied the code. This code will also not be valid for van, prestige or motorhome hire bookings. Limited offer. This promotion is subject to availability. All bookings which require confirmation within 48 hours will still be eligible for the 10% discount providing the original booking is confirmed with our supplier.

If we are unable to confirm your original booking within 48 hours you may still be eligible for the discount providing you re-book your car hire with holiday autos within 48 hours of being notified that your original booking cannot be confirmed. The holiday autos standard terms and conditions apply. Prices are applicable to UK residents only and may be subject to change without notice." Source Holiday Autos News Room 10--2-12

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Car hire companies getting ready for Valentines Day

With Valentines Day only under a week away, the car hire companies marketing teams are sending out the special offers.

Just received two in the last 24 hours. First of all Holiday Autos, the company celebrating 25 years in the business sent out an email saying - Sprinkle a little romance into your life with a Valentine's break away.

Our enchanting selection of locations gives you the perfect mix of winter sun, sightseeing or ski - and car hire from as little as £4 per day - Take a romantic break in Paris, Rome, Milan and Pisa and save 10% on car hire with our love

Carrentals was talking about Venice - the city of Love. The glorious city of Venice has changed little in the last 600 years and is known for its culture and architecture by those fortunate enough to visit.

Many wealthy Europeans taking Grand Tours of Europe arrived in Venice in the 18th and 19th centuries and never left. Great artists, led by Canaletto, immortalised its waterways and magnificent architecture for future generations...
So if you are thinking of taking a romantic break or any other kind of break or going away on business don't forget to arrange your car hire in advance as you usually save money when you pre-book.
To find out more about Holiday Autos - Click Here
To find out more about Carrentals - Click Here 
Oh I nearly forgot, another thing you can save money on is if you buy your car hire excess insurance from a specialist insurance company. You can find a list by following this link

Tuesday 7 February 2012

An award winning start to 2012 for Holiday Autos

Holiday Autos the leading car hire broker established in 1987 has started its 25th anniversary year by winning two ‘Best Car Hire’ awards from two prestigious travel bodies.

Their first honour of 2012 has been the winning ‘Best Car Rental Company - Holiday Autos’ at the Globe Travel Awards – which makes it the fourth year in a row Holiday Autos has won this prominent award. These were held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 25th January 2012.

The Irish Travel Agents Association awards followed the next day in Dublin and were held on the 26th of January at the Mansion House in Dublin. Under the “Agency Services Category” Holiday Autos was awarded the ‘Best Car Hire company’.

Holiday Autos press release stated that These awards are all voted for by the travel industry and are awarded in recognition of Holiday Autos’ dedication to service as well as its great value car hire to consumers and trade partners.

Holiday Autos’ CEO Alistair Rodger commented: “It’s a huge honour to win these awards again, especially as 2012 marks our 25th anniversary. We are extremely proud that all our hard work in conjunction with our supplier partners has been recognised in such a way. We are committed to our trade partners and to delivering a great value car hire experience for travel agents, whose continued support is vital to our business”.

It is now only early February 2012 and Holiday Autos has two awards under its belt which is very good. Since 1987, holiday autos has helped millions of customers with their car hire needs and quickly established itself as the leading leisure car hire broker in the world. The holidayautos website was launched in 1999, designed to offer fully inclusive car hire with no hidden charges in 3 easy steps. Holiday Autos’s multi award-winning service now operates in over 5,000 locations globally.

The company works with a number of car hire partners including Avis, Alamo, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, National, Thrifty and Budget.  As well car hire, Holiday Autos also offers motorhome hire and van hire and you can make arrangements to rent one of these vehicles via the insurance4carrental.com website.

Part Source Holiday Autos February 2012